The Story of the Windham Frogs

Story and Visuals Courtesy of Peter Jones

The Windham Bank building still stands in Windham Center and is now the Windham Library. The Windham Bank started business in 1832, printing notes like these during the state chartered banking era of 1795 to 1864. But in 1863, the National Banking Act forced out state banks, so Windham Bank became a national bank.

Where did the Windham Frogs come from? They come from an old story. In 1754, Windham was a relatively large town of 1,000. The French and Indians were a constant threat, with many atrocities. One night, an African American servant named Pomp heard a terrifying sound and rushed home to tell his master, Parson White, who sounded the alarm. Immediately, the local militia assembled on the green. Colonel Dyer and Colonel Elderkin, prominent lawyers in Windham, had recently planned a colonization project in the Susquehanna Valley, which could have irritated the Indians. Three men, Colonel Dyer, Colonel Elderkin, and Mr. Gray, rode up Mullen Hill to the source of the noise, only to find a drying pond with thousands of noisy frogs.

Windhamites became the butt of jokes about the battle of the frogs. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! So, they used it as their town mascot. The nearby bridge over the Willimantic River is now capped by the Windham frogs. They sit on cotton spools, representing the Willimantic American Thread Company, at one time the largest producer of sewing thread in the world.